COLD RESPONSE 2022, the biennial Norwegian national readiness and defence exercise on which USMC II MEF participated, concluded on 1st April.
News Release, Camp Lejeune NC, 13 April 2022: Exercise COLD RESPONSE 2022, the biennial Norwegian national readiness and defence exercise concluded on April 1, 2022. Exercise COLD RESPONSE ‘22 included participation from each of Norway’s military services, as well as 26 additional NATO allied nations and regional partners.
Many of the training events placed US Marines alongside Norwegian service members operating in austere Arctic conditions, the premier cold-weather training destination for NATO. These training events included Arctic vehicle operations, avalanche prevention and response, flight operations and casualty evacuations drills which ultimately strengthen our collective warfighting capabilities in the Arctic.
Alongside other nations in addition to Norway, II MEF validated multiple capabilities in the Arctic to include amphibious landings shoulder-to-shoulder with the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps, Naval vessel embarkation and boat patrols with Italian Marines and sailors, as well as tactical combat casualty care and various live-fire events alongside the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines. II MEF Marines also practised integrated troop transportation, trauma care and flight operations with the German Naval Infantry and United Kingdom’s Royal Navy as well as hosted demonstrations with numerous participating nations to include France.
“It’s all about interoperability in a very challenging environment,” stated Deputy Commander of Royal Netherlands Navy Maritime Forces Col. Michiel Posthumus, “We train together here to become stronger because we are all partners anyhow. It can benefit NATO in the future because we are enhancing our interoperability and our readiness, so training together makes us a better team and therefore a more effective force.”
Exercise COLD RESPONSE ‘22 provided the opportunity to refine collective capabilities across a range of military operations. 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade conducted amphibious landing operations with provided command and control for key II MEF and coalition forces afloat, including Marines and sailors aboard the Royal Netherlands Navy vessel HNLMS Rotterdam and the Italian Navy aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi. 2d Marine Division, aided by a Combat Logistics Detachment from 2d Marine Logistics Group, showcased their skills as well during Arctic demolition, ground warfare and Arctic navigation. Multiple squadrons within 2d Marine Aircraft Wing executed aerial refuelling, troop and combat assault transport, casualty evacuation training, expeditionary air traffic control, and aircraft maintenance with various aviation platforms, including MV-22B Ospreys, KC-130J Hercules, F/A-18C Hornets, AV-8B Harriers, UH-1Y Venoms, AH-1Z Vipers, and CH-53E Super Stallions.
“II MEF readiness has been enhanced through [Exercise] COLD RESPONSE by bringing together elements of the [Marine Air-Ground Task Force],” said Lt. Col. Ryan Gordinier, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2d Marine Division, explaining the core strength the MAGTF consisting of a command element, ground combat element, logistics combat element and an aviation combat element. “In the high north, here in Norway, COLD RESPONSE has given us the opportunity to bring those elements together… building interoperability with our Allies in NATO, and some of our other partners.”
US Marines will continue to train overseas during Exercise NORTHERN VIKING and will return to Norway throughout the year. Roughly 400 Marines and sailors will remain in Europe to bolster NATO’s Eastern flank. The United States and Norway share a very close military relationship with a significant amount of Norwegians service members travelling to the United States each year for training and educational exchange programs under the longest-running military exchange partnership between any two nations. Exercise COLD RESPONSE 22 is part of a regularly occurring, biennial exercise in northern Europe in which II MEF exercises the capability to deploy and train large numbers of Marines and sailors in support of European NATO Allies and partners. The next iteration of Exercise COLD RESPONSE is scheduled to occur in early 2024.
- For further coverage of CR22 on this site click on the tag COLD RESPONSE 2022.